Having had a wildly successful game helps.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown was a great game against all odds- it was rebooting an old, tired franchise, and it seemed to be a modern, streamlined take on what used to be regarded as the finest example of nuanced strategy back in the day. But developers Firaxis, of Civilization fame, managed to deliver with Enemy Unknown not just a game worthy of the originals, but just a modern classic of the strategy genre, period.
A lot of this has to do with the fact that there are no unknown quantities this time- the development team has proven it knows what it is doing, that it has the right instinct to make a good strategy game. Meanwhile, Enemy Unknown itself has firmly established XCOM as a major hit, meaning the developers feel more confident to take chances and risks now.
“The benefit now is we have millions of people who have played the game and given their feedback, and that puts us in such a better position to succeed,” said Jake Solomon, Creative Director of XCOM 2, to The Examiner. “From that amount of feedback, there are some obvious things we need to improve, but then it becomes about what merits the game to be a sequel and what changes do you make. We had to change some things fundamentally and that was a difficult thing to do.”
XCOM 2 launches next February, exclusively for the PC. You can check out a video showcasing some of the game’s early missions, as well as new gameplay mechanics, below.